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Lightning to 30-pin adapter now shipping

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Apple has reportedly started shipping its Lightning to 30-pin adapter, the need for which is a key cause of frustration for iPhone 5 owners.

According to tip-offs sent to MacRumors, Apple has started sending out the first Lightning port adapters in Australia. The deliveries are due to be made today, 9 October.

At present, the UK online Apple store merely shows that the Lightning to 30-pin adapter will ship in "October", suggesting UK stocks may not have reached the warehouse yet.

The Lightning to 30-pin adapter costs £25 in the UK, and is a little rectangle of plastic that sits over old 30-pin connectors, letting you plug in new iOS devices like the iPhone 5 into old docks and accessories. This adapter supports audio, syncing and charging, but if you have an old dock that lets you output video, you're out of luck here.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that accessory manufacturers will have to gain approval from Apple before they're able to produce Lightning adapter accessories. iLounge writes that Apple plans to hold a seminar in November outlining the rules of iPhone 5 accessory development.

The new proprietary Apple cable is reportedly very difficult to reproduce, making it a tricky target for the companies that have been producing dubious-quality iPhone docks on the cheap for years now. Apple's Lightning connector not only lets the company streamline parts of its mobile phone design, it also affords Apple a tighter grip on the iOS accessories market.

The iPhone 5 sold more than five million units in its first five days. It sounds impressive, but is actually a way below some analyst predictions. Shortly after the phone's launch Tim Cook released a statement saying that supplies of the phone had run dry, suggesting that the figures could have been higher had the supply line been further greased-up.

Other new iOS devices that use the Lightning connector include the new iPod touch range. Apple is expected to unveil both an iPad mini with Lightning connector later this month, and a full-size iPad sporting the new standard next year.

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